Herzliya Pituach - Investigators from the Lahav 433 National Crime Unit of the Israel Police raided luxury homes in the upscale beachfront Herzliya Pituach neighborhood last week, in cooperation with an international investigation led byInterpol.
The investigation raised suspicions that the homeowners, principally French Jews, may have committed tax fraud and laundered money through real estate purchases.
The National Tax Authority's Yahalom Intelligence and Investigations Unit is also taking part in the investigation. Presently, the tax authority is mainly assisting police, but the agency said it was also preparing to broaden its own investigation.
Going forward, Lahav 433's investigation may include additional enforcement agencies under the assumption that the money was transferred to Israel via interbank transfers.
Police were planning to investigate which banks and by what means the funds were transferred to Israel, whether other Israeli bodies or officials were involved in the transfers or tax fraud, such as contractors and developers.
Herzliya Pituach contains some of the most expensive residential real estate in the country. Over the past three years, 79 luxury homes have been sold in the area, with prices ranging from 10 million to 44.7 million shekels ($2.8 million to $12.7 million).